Judith Jacques is no stranger to the Haitian community. In 2009, she co-founded BeltTiFi, an organization dedicated to showcasing issues that impact young Haitian-American women. She’s used her marketing and branding skills to help her clients reach their communication and marketing goals. Most recently, she founded the Black Women in Media conference and award ceremony. Now in its third year, the conference and award ceremony has attracted big names in the industry like journalist Lori Stokes, media mogul and pioneer Cathy Hughes and Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory.
What inspired you to create Black Women in Media?
The creation of Black Women in Media to honor black women in media and entertainment derives from my own experience. Every time I was working in or with a firm, I was always the only Black woman in the room. It frustrated me to see how underrepresented we were and also the number of opportunities, or lack thereof, were given to us. As long as the “quota” was met, these firms did not extend opportunities further to people of color–black women in particular. back women are constantly contributing to an increase in clientele, productivity, creative campaigns, and overall company growth. However, we do not get the recognition, promotions or even at times acknowledgment for our contributions. This is why I created this platform. Through BWIM we celebrate our Black Girl Magic and Black Brilliance.
What are some challenges Black women face in the industry?
Aside from the racial disparities, I believe our biggest challenge is overall recognition and acknowledgment of our work.
What are some unique advantages that Black women have in the industry?
Our creativity hands down is like none other. Brands have profited off of our magic since forever. However, due to our outcries of cultural appropriation and our awakening, they are realizing this can no longer happen without our inclusion. I now believe brands are willing to hire us to properly introduce our culture to others. Our creativity is being noticed and firms are hiring us to control our representation.
How has your experience growing up Haitian in America impacted your outlook on life and work?
“Where do I start?”, growing up Haitian is solely responsible for my work ethic. There is this resiliency that our people have, it is unmatched. I’ve taken this trait through every aspect of my life and it hasn’t failed me.